Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Family Secrets

A Judge's Ignorance on Sexual Assault Issues?

A devestating reality that calls for immediate action

Posted Jun 18, 2015

While it seems incomprehensible that a judge would reduce a mandatory child sexual assault sentence against an offender for reasons that are nearly inexplicable, it is a devastating reality that calls for immediate action.

Sexual predator Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto injured, molested and sodomized a 3-year-old girl in his garage roughly one year ago in June 2014. A relative of the toddler, Rojano-Nieto was playing video games in their house when the girl wandered into the garage, which prompted him to engender the sexual abuse against her. Following his conviction, Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly reduced Rojano-Nieto’s sentence from a state mandatory requirement of 25 years to a mere 10 years for what he attributes to the “nature” of the case.

Excerpts from Judge Kelly’s Sentencing Transcript read as follows:|mconnors

"There was no violence or callous disregard for [the victim's] well-being...this does not compare to a situation where a pedophilic child predator preys on an innocent child…. Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk [the victim]. He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm [the victim] when he sexually assaulted her."

How could someone of such social awareness and stature be so mindless? Does this then legitimize the notion that it is okay to act upon “inexplicable” sexual arousal regardless of the circumstance and the people involved? That there was in fact no intention to harm the minor due to the overwhelming impulse to sodomize her? If that is the case, we will live in a world where sexual assault becomes normalized and accepted on the grounds that it is an “instinctive behavior with no intention to harm.”

To be clear, under no circumstance is a minor capable of consenting to sex. The unfortunate victim in this case has been and continues to live in fear as a consequence of the assault, and will likely be damaged for years to come. What are we going to do as a society to take preventative measures against such horrific acts from taking place? Community efforts are being made to recall Judge Kelly in response to the ruling. I will personally be following up with these efforts to ensure that it happens.

While there is some debate regarding the legal age of consent, which in all states is above the age of 16, it would be blatantly absurd to suggest that 3-year-olds are capable of comprehending the magnitude of such acts, let alone to understand the meaning of the actions being taken against them. Basically, there is absolutely no justification for the outright sexual assault of a toddler.